Mr Cameron takes up his position today and starts by visiting the Alzheimer’s Research UK offices in Cambridge.
Former Prime Minister David Cameron has been announced as the new President of Alzheimer’s Research UK.
Dementia is a cause that Mr Cameron feels very passionate about, and he made dementia a real focus during his time in office, saying that it was ‘one of the biggest challenges we face today – and it is one that we as a society simply cannot afford to ignore any longer.’
In 2012 he launched the Prime Minister’s Dementia Challenge, kick-starting a drive to deliver major improvements in care and research. At a G7 legacy event in London in 2014, Mr Cameron launched Alzheimer’s Research UK’s ambitious five-year £100m Defeat Dementia fundraising campaign as part of a showcase of the UK’s lead role in dementia science.
Speaking about what prompted him to take on the new role, Mr Cameron said:
‘It was the end of the week that I resigned as Prime Minister. I was in my constituency, visiting a care home. A woman with dementia, who was surrounded by her loving family, grabbed my hand and stared into my eyes.
‘As I looked back at her I could see she didn’t know either where she was, or who was sitting with her.
‘That moment brought home to me, once again, the desperate sadness of this debilitating condition. And while I didn’t know then what role I could play outside No10 to help with the fight, I knew it was something that I wanted to do.
‘Tackling dementia was a major focus while I was Prime Minister, and although improvements in attention and research innovation have been rapid, it remains one of our greatest health challenges.
‘So I’m delighted to take up the Presidency of Alzheimer’s Research UK, an ambitious charity driving medical research to fight this devastating condition. As well as being a world-leading research organisation, the charity is also fighting the misconceptions of dementia that persist in society. Dementia is not inevitable and research is our greatest weapon against it.
‘I’m committed to helping Alzheimer’s Research UK transform the lives of those affected by this life-shattering condition.’
Mr Cameron kicks off his Presidency with a visit to the charity’s offices in Cambridge, and a tour of one of Alzheimer’s Research UK’s three Drug Discovery Institutes (DDIs), scientists are working to fast-track promising research breakthroughs into new treatments for people with dementia.
Mr Cameron takes over the presidency from Lady Onslow, who steps down after many years supporting ARUK.
Welcoming Mr Cameron’s appointment, Hilary Evans, Chief Executive of Alzheimer’s Research UK, said:
‘David Cameron joins Alzheimer’s Research UK as our President to continue a mission he instigated through the Prime Minister’s Dementia Challenge: to go further and faster in our research to combat the condition. As a world leader, Mr Cameron has done more than any other to put dementia on the global agenda, driving an ambition shared by all G7 nations to find a disease-modifying treatment by 2025.
‘Alzheimer’s Research UK is a hugely ambitious and growing charity, uniquely set-up to tackle our greatest medical challenge. We have a clear focus on pioneering research, working with leading scientists across the UK and the world. We are committed to bringing together the brightest minds and most innovative ideas in powerful collaborations that reach breakthroughs faster. David Cameron’s support of our work will help us continue our positive growth and further bolster our research efforts, through which we will end the fear, harm and heartbreak of dementia.’